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Rules of Ringette

Ringette is played on any standard ice rink. Five skaters and a goalie are on the ice for each team, unless of course there are penalties being served. The object is to score goals on the net of your opponent. How you do that however, is where Ringette becomes unique. A straight stick of wood, fibreglass, or aluminium is used to pass an 8" hollow rubber ring between teammates.

Play is started by a free pass similar to the start of a soccer game. The ring is placed in the half of the centre ice free pass circle (see diagram below) closest to the visitor's goalie. On the referee's whistle the player 'taking the free pass' has 5 seconds to pass the ring to a teammate... and the game is on! Any stoppages in play will result in a free pass to re-start the game, usually in the nearest free pass circle. A 'goaltender ring' replaces some defensive free passes, again, like a soccer goalie throwing in the ball.

Rules restrict any one player from carrying the ring the full length of the ice (no ring hogs). The ring must be passed over each blue line to another player which means more players can be involved in setting up goals. Free play lines (see diagram below) define restricted areas in the offensive and defensive zones. Teams are allowed no more than three skaters at a time in these areas, so over crowding is minimal.

Teams have 1 goalie, 1 centre, 2 forwards, and 2 defence on the ice while at full strength. Any free pass would be taken from any one of the 'Placement Dots' (see diagram below) depending on the possession, unless it is a Goalkeeper's Ring.

There is no intentional contact allowed in Ringette, with all the rules geared towards safety. When contact does occur, however, penalties are assessed. The most common are Body Contact, Tripping, and Interference and are usually unintentional as players focus on checking the ring from an opponent's stick or skating to get a loose ring first. Most penalties are 2 minutes, but a 4-minute Major is assessed for actions that are deemed intentional or particularly rough.

Goal Crease: Only goalie is allowed in this area.
Free Play Line: Three players from each team (plus goalie). Defensive team: 2 defence, 1 centre Offensive team: 1 centre, 2 forwards
Blue Line: Cannot carry ring over. Must pass over both the offensive and defensive lines.

Mandatory Equipment for Registered Players:
(as of September 4, 2008)

CSA approved Helmet & Face mask
BNQ Approved Neck Protector
Elbow Pads
Protective Gloves
Hip/Tailbone/Genital Protection
Shin Guards
Ringette / Hockey Skates (no picks)
Uniform Jersey
Track Pants or "Cooperalls"
Ringette Stick

Goalie Equipment (Extras or Different):
Goal Pads
Chest Protector
Goal Stick

Optional Equipment for Registered Players:
(as of September 4, 2008)

Shoulder Pads
Mouth Guard

Goal Skates
Arm Pads
Goalie Mask
Plastic Throat Protector (must still have a BNQ Throat Protector)
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